Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart. … “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Jesus Christ used the parable of the persistent widow (verses 2-6) to emphasize the need to be tenacious and persevering in prayer. If even the unjust judge of the parable would eventually avenge the widow because of her persistence, how much more will our just and loving God hear and respond to us!
God does not delay because He doesn’t care or because He is cruel and unjust. But sometimes He does delay, and through those delays we must learn patience, persistence and faith—faith that He does hear and does have our best interests in mind, even if we can’t understand why He doesn’t respond immediately.
Consider how Daniel fasted and prayed three weeks for an answer, and finally God’s angel told him, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:12-13).
This is all recorded that we might always pray and “not lose heart.” We may not know what is going on behind the scenes, but we can have faith that God has our eternal best interests at heart.
For more about prayer, see “Does God Answer Prayers Today?”